Piniella defends Wrigley Field faithful
Reds broadcaster referred to Cubs fans as 'obnoxious'
CHICAGO -- Lou Piniella defended Wrigley Field fans in response to Cincinnati broadcaster Marty Brennaman's comments that Cubs fans are "obnoxious." Fans at Wrigley Field traditionally throw the opposing team's home runs back onto the field, but after Adam Dunn connected Wednesday in the eighth inning, they got carried away and tossed 15 balls onto the field. Brennaman said the behavior was "obnoxious" and the type of action that "makes you want to see this Chicago Cubs team lose."
"Marty's a Cincinnati guy, obviously, he's rooting for the Reds," Piniella said Friday. "I don't think our fans are obnoxious. I think they get into the ballgame. They enjoy coming out to a ballgame and that's why they draw here the way they do. It's a fun environment and they get into it.
"As far as winning the division -- hey, I like Marty Brennaman, I really do, I was over there for three years -- but he has nothing to do with the Cubs winning or losing, I can tell you that," Piniella said.
Piniella had not heard a tape of Brennaman's comments.
"Those are his opinions," said the Cubs manager, who managed the Reds from 1990-92. "Everybody's entitled to their opinions and, obviously, everybody's got opinions. I don't think that will have anything to do with us winning or losing this year."
The Cubs players also defended their fans.
"I don't want to get into a war of words with him," Chicago's Mark DeRosa said. "I respect how he handles his profession, but I didn't agree with what he said. I think he could've used different wording.
"They're very passionate people and passionate fans," DeRosa said. "You're torn in situations like that [when they threw balls back] -- you get a chuckle out of it, and at the same time, it wastes 10 minutes of your life. I don't think he needed to go that far with the comments. Obviously, he has some deep-seated hatred for Chicago."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.